Thailand Travel Take- Away #2 – Unexpected Lessons in Partnership Marketing

Here is a continuation of my Thailand take – aways. For those of you who missed my first one, you can find it here. Why am I doing another post? Well, Thailand is a land of culture, history and because of tourists, customer acquisition strategies! Here is one that stayed with me.

This story begins when I was out for a morning stroll to check out all the local sights and do all ‘touristy’ stuff. Here is what a busy day at the streets look like:

Customer acquisition strategy

And that is when ‘It’ happened…

As I was ambling along, deciding what to do, I was approached by a local driver who launched into casual conversation with me. He asked me where I was from, what all I have seen so far and how I like it here. Despite my lukewarm response, he gamely continued to tell me about other tourists from my place and even dropped names of celebrities from my home town. He then offered to take me around town (for all of 20 bath) at a very cheap price and whipped out a map to show exactly where we could go. He had only one condition – I visit jewelry gallery in town at the end of the tour as that would give him one liter free gasoline (5 litres if I make a purchase).

Cut to discussion

Let us take a moment here to talk about the gallery’s partnership marketing strategy.

Audience identification – Tourists. That part of the population that is coming to shop, have a good time and take home souvenirs. That part of the population that has the willingness and the ability to spend. Spot on!

Partner identification – who gets contacted by a vast range of tourists every day? Who gets atleast ten minutes of face to face time with them? Who can get customers literally to their door step, when provided the right incentives? Cab drivers. Bingo!

Incentive identification – What is the one thing the cabbies need to make a profit in their business? That one thing that keeps it running (no pun intended). Gasoline. Nailed it!

Coming to the cab guy’s (the partner) role in the whole mix:

Smart nurturing– Let’s face it, am sure you will blow your top or give up when you know that the person you are talking to is not bothering to pay attention to you. To persistently keep up a steady stream of relevant information till I got interested in the deal (basically lead nurturing) did provide results!

Getting my attention – I can tell you the exact minute he had my attention. It was when he said “Rajnikanth”. Look beyond the name dropping, he was genuinely trying to form a connection and well, he had me hooked.

Visual representation – Producing a map and showing the exact location of the destination really helped!

Full disclosure – I would have definitely smelled a rat had he waxed on about how he was doing a special deal only for me. Instead, he told me upfront why the discount came up and what the catch was. That was much appreciated.

And so, there I was – a successful conversion. For the second time (the first time happened at the airport, it was a mind blowing customer acquisition strategy that I was compelled to write about. You can find it here).

What partnership marketing strategies do you employ for your business? Do you think these can be adapted to yours? Leave a comment and let us know!!

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  1. abhaysonak Commented June 18, 2016

    Indeed a very good article. Such partnership tactis does work! Of course, like this taxi driver partners should be smart and interested in selling other products / services along with his. Taxi driver talking about Rajnikant at right time is a smart move and telling Lakshmi about his interest upfront as to why is he giving her taxi service in cheaper rate shows his interest and urge both. Super!

    1. Lakshmi Narayanan Commented June 20, 2016

      Glad you like it Abhay! Indeed, he was so good, I was inspired to write a post about him. What interesting partnership marketing strategies have you come across?

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